Category Archives: vmware

vmware converter needs the eventlog service to be running

I was P2Ving a Windows 2000 machine (yes, i know), and the Vmware Converter tool kept on asking to push the vmware converter agent.

Turned out, my client had disabled the eventlog service.  Just make sure the eventlog service is running before you do a P2V with the vmware converter.

According to Vmware only the following services need to be running for a P2V :

  • Workstation
  • Server
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

Unable to determine Guest Operating System in vmware converter

If you’re trying to restore / import a virtual machine with the vmware converter, and you get the error

“Unable to determine Guest Operating System”, have a look at your vmware converter logs.

if you can find something like this in your logs

[#7] [2008-09-22 10:42:15.816 ‘App’ 632 verbose] [,0] DISKLIB-LINK  : “scsi0-0-0-nameofyourvmdk.vmdk” : failed to open (The system cannot find the file specified).
[#7] [2008-09-22 10:42:15.816 ‘App’ 632 verbose] [,0] DISKLIB-CHAIN : “scsi0-0-0-nameofyourvmdk” : failed to open (The system cannot find the file specified).

then an easy fix is just to rename your vmdk file, append scsi0-0-0- to the beginning of the filename.

howto change the ipaddress of an ESX server from the server console

from the service console

  • login with or su to root
  • esxcfg-vswif -d vswif0
    this will delete the existing vswif0, will give an error about nothing to flush
  • esxcfg-vswif -a vswif0 -p Service\ Console -i xx.xx.xx.xx -n -b xx.xx.xx.255
    replace the xx after -i with the new ipaddress, and the xx after -b with the broadcast address.  So not the default gateway, but the broadcast address!
    example: esxcfg-vswif -a vswif0 -p Service\ Console -i -n -b
  • for the default gateway
    edit the file /etc/sysconfig/network .  You can edit this file with vi or nano (I prefer nano).
  • after that, reboot the ESX.  You can already connect to the ESX without rebooting, but virtual center reacts funny without a reboot.  Or connect to virtual center and check the network configuration 🙂

troubleshoot P2VError SNAPSHOT_FAILURE(-1) when doing a P2V with vmware converter

Possible fixes for Windows XP and Windows 2003

  • XP and Windows 2003 : check the volume shadow copy service in services

Possible fixes for Windows 2000

  • Upgrade vmware converter to latest version
  • try not resizing the disks
  • run a chkdsk
  • install the converter with a local admin account on the host you want to P2V
  • defragment
  • ignore pagefile or do not ignore pagefile
  • deinstall other imaging tools (ultraback, acronis,…)
  • if all else fails, use another imaging tool

investigate the logfiles on both the server running vmware converter as on the target!!!

for example i found this in a failled converter log :

[#2] [2008-09-24 14:29:53.625 ‘App’ 2824 verbose] [snapshotVolumeFactory,148] Creating snapshot using vsnap
[#2] [2008-09-24 14:29:53.625 ‘App’ 2824 verbose] [snapshotVolumeVSNAPWin32,124] Vsnap does not have admin rights

=> in this case, uninstalling the converter, and pushing it again with a local admin fixed this.

vmware announced virtual datacenter os

The virtual datacenter OS enables a dramatically simpler and more efficient model of computing that meet customers’ needs. In this new model customers define the desired outcomes and the computing infrastructure guarantees these outcomes precisely. For example, IT professionals would like to   provision an application, specify the application service levels, response time, security protection, and availability level– and the infrastructure should deliver and assure these service levels, at the lowest possible cost with minimal maintenance effort required.

There is a nice post about it @

  1. Synchronization and a single-console view of inventory, configuration, roles and permissions between multiple vCenter instances with vCenter Linked Mode.
    So no more maintaining and configuring several VC’s, just link ‘em up!
  2. Monitoring and automated remediation of VMware ESX physical host configurations for compliance with standard baseline profiles.
    This is the future, real plug and play, define your ESX host once and just roll it out! I’m starting to see the big picture with ESXi… no more installing at all, just plug it in!
  3. Paravirtualized storage device enables over 200,000 i/o operations per second.
    High i/o servers? No problem…
  4. Distributed Switch simplifies the setup and change of virtual machine networking.
    A single point of administration for your vSwitches, or should I say dSwitches in this case…
  5. Network VMotion enables network statistics and history to travel with a virtual machine as it moves from host to host for better monitoring and security.
  6. Third party virtual switches plug into virtual networks and deliver value added network monitoring, security and QoS.
    So this would be that Cisco vSwitch that everybody was talking about these last couple of days?
  7. VMware Fault Tolerance, a groundbreaking new product provides zero downtime, zero data loss and availability to all applications against x86 hardware failures without the cost and complexity of hardware or software clustering solutions.
    No more need for any  other way of clustering, zero data loss, no more down time!
  8. vStorage Thin Provisioning enables users to reduce storage required for virtual environments by up to 50% by allocating storage only as required while providing the reporting and alerting capabilities needed to track actual usage.
    Besides power, rack space and cooling, save on storage as well!
  9. vStorage Linked Clones reduce the storage required for virtual machines by sharing common OS images while still retaining user specific profile and application data.
    Think about rapid deploying a 1000 VDI desktops… and saving on disk space.
  10. Virtual machines increase in size from 4 way to 8 way SMP, from 64 GB to 256GB of RAM, enabling even the largest, most resource intensive applications to run on  VMware.
  11. Hot add of virtual CPU, memory and network devices enables applications to scale seamlessly without disruption or downtime.
    No more downtime.
  12. vCenter Data Recovery provides quick, simple and cost effective backup and recovery for all applications through:
    Agentless disk based back up and recovery of virtual machines, Incremental backups and dedupe to save disk space, vCenter – integrated virtual machine level or file level restore.
    Doing backups and restores from the same console you are already used to, VirtualCenter!
  13. vApp turns new and existing applications into self-describing and self-managing entities. vApp leverages OVF, an open industry standard, to specify and encapsulate all components of a multi-tier application as well as the operational policies and service levels associated with it. Just like the UPC bar code contains all information about a product, the vApp gives application owners a standard way to describe operational policies for an application which the Virtual Datacenter OS can automatically interpret and execute.

So basicly, downtime is a thing of the past?

choosing a blocksize when creating VMFS datastores

When you create a VMFS datastore on your VMware ESX servers many administrators select the default 1MB block size without knowing when or why to change it. The block size determines the minimum amount of disk space that any file will take up on VMFS datastores. So an 18KB log file will actually take up 1MB of disk space (1 block) and a 1.3MB file will take up 2MB of disk space (2 blocks). But the block size also determines the maximum size that any file can be, if you select a 1MB block size on your data store the maximum file size is limited to 256GB. So when you create a VM you cannot assign it a single virtual disk greater then 256GB. There is also no way to change the block size after you set it without deleting the datastore and re-creating it, which will wipe out any data on the datastore.

Because of this you should choose your block size carefully when creating VMFS datastores. The VMFS datastores mainly contain larger virtual disk files so increasing the block size will not use all that much more disk space over the default 1MB size. You have the following choices when creating a datastore:

• 1MB block size – 256GB maximum file size
• 2MB block size – 512GB maximum file size
• 4MB block size – 1024GB maximum file size
• 8MB block size – 2048GB maximum file size

Besides having smaller files use slightly more disk space on your datastore there are no other downsides to using larger block sizes. There is no noticeable I/O performance difference by using a larger block size. When you create your datastore, make sure you choose your block size carefully. 1MB should be fine if you have a smaller datastore (less than 500GB) and never plan on using virtual disks greater then 256GB. If you have a medium (500GB – 1TB) datastore and there is a chance that you may need a VM with a larger disk then go with a 2MB or 4MB block size. For larger datastores (1TB – 2TB) go with a 4MB or 8MB block size. In most cases you will not be creating virtual disks equal to the maximum size of your datastore (2TB) so you will usually not need a 8MB block size.

So remember, choose carefully, once you create your datastore there is no changing it later.

read more here

how to change the blocksize of a vmfs file system

vmkfstools --createfs vmfs3 --blocksize 8M vmhba0:0:0:3

however this will destroy all data, so you might just recreate the volume